Good Inspectors Listen
David Hawkins, Lead Inspector, 11/30/22
The most frightening sound an inspector hears during a home inspection, is water spilling out. Any inspector worth their salt is constantly listening for running water, leaks, chirping smoke alarms, arcing electrical circuits… the list is long. Inspectors have to be good listeners. But that isn’t the kind of listening I’m thinking of just now.
From the time I make first contact, until the inspection report is delivered, I’m listening, to the buyers, the agents, and, when available, the home owners. They each have a story to convey. Every question or statement relays information that assists me in presenting my findings in a way that is most beneficial to the buyer and agent. “Please pay special attention to…” comments are always helpful. These and other similar statements give me a deeper and more complete understanding of what my clients are looking for from the inspection, and subsequent review.
It is not unusual for me to ask agents this question, “tell me about the buyers”. Are they nervous? My favorite clients are first time buyers. I really enjoy the review time when I can paint an in-depth word mosaic of their “maybe” home. The gently crafted words and descriptions I choose, serve to inform, while also enabling the buyer to maintain a calm, receptive frame of mind. Light touches of humor, warm friendly eyes, and a factual, confident, and assuring tone help an uneasy buyer see a comprehensive image of their potential new home as they wrestle with their final decisions.
A good inspector listens, and often hears the buyer’s story. Sometimes it presents itself out-right. Other times, a few engaging questions ease the way. Listening is a developed skill every home inspector should have in their toolkit; And that good tool is often found next to other tools like it, “being on time”, “being prepared”, and “competence”.
Be Super in what you do,
Licensed Professional Home Inspector #23829